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City of Johannesburg to blacklist perpetual household and business defaulters

All property owners who struggle to pay their accounts should approach the city.

The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) warns thousands of defaulting residential property owners and businesses that it will soon blacklist them to recoup more than R40b in municipal debt.

It has a growing municipal debt of more than R52b, which it intends to curb with aggressive credit control campaigns.

The city also intends to invoke its credit control and debt collection policy by reporting defaulting payers to the appropriate credit bureaus.

Group chief financial officer Tebogo Moraka said the city had set up a specialised revenue collection team specifically to target these defaulting payers and try to recoup the monies owed. Residents in arrears with their municipal accounts and who have not made arrangements for settling their bills run the risk of being blacklisted.

“Our specialised team will soon target business and domestic customers who perpetually default as part of the city’s aggressive credit control campaign. These are individual businesses and households whose municipal accounts are more than 61 days in arrears. These steps are necessary because the city also has bills it must pay, like Eskom and Rand Water,” said Moraka.

Moraka said the defaulting customers on the city’s radar for blacklisting are those who refused to respond positively to the city urging them to pay their accounts over a long time.

“These customers have gone through all the city’s processes to get them to pay their debt but have simply ignored all communication from the city. The city would have issued them with pre-termination notices informing them of the outstanding arrears and giving them enough time (14 days) to approach the city and settle their debt.

“The city would have also sent them final demand notices and SMSes and called them to remind them to settle their accounts urgently, without success,” said Moraka.

Moraka said the CoJ had no choice but to hand these perpetual defaulters to the collection team to begin the blacklisting process.

Additionally, the illegal connection of services will be considered a serious offence, and the city will remove the connections, thereby immediately terminating the service.

Moraka reiterated that the city will not hesitate to lay criminal charges or effect arrests, impose hefty fines, and immediately disconnect electricity and water supply to those illegally connecting to the services.

All property owners who struggle to pay their accounts should approach the city to avoid being cut off by making payment arrangements and signing an acknowledgement of debt.

Customers wanting to make payment arrangements can email the city’s Credit Control Department by emailing creditcontrol@joburg.org.za

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